Jupiter 4/18/2016

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This greyscale image is a stacked composite the best 50 of 1000 photos taken through the 11 inch Celestron EdgeHD with an Imaging Source video camera.  Three moons are visible, Io and Ganymede on the right and Europa on the left.  Jupiter is 437 million miles distant and was at an altitude 44 degrees above the horizon in Prescott, Arizona’s Southern sky when this was taken.  I can see the faint outline of Jupiter’s famous red spot around the left side of the equator.

From Space.com by contributor Elizabeth Howell 5/15/2014…

“Jupiter’s Great Red Spot — the most powerful storm in the solar system — is at its smallest observed size yet, and scientists aren’t sure why.

Recent Hubble Space Telescope images of the storm show that it is now 10,250 miles (16,496 kilometers) across, which is less than half the size of the storm in the late 1800s. At one point, scientists theorized that three Earths could fit inside the Great Red Spot, but today, only the width of one Earth could fit within the raging tempest.”

“As the spot diminishes, its shrinkage rate appears to be accelerating. Amateur observations from 2012 show the storm’s “waistline” is reducing by 580 miles (933 km) a year, a little less than the driving distance from New York City to Cincinnati.”

 

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